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Section 5.7 Tla’amin - Tᶿuqʷaʔəm kʷ jənxʷ mɛnaθɛy

Written by: Veselin Jungic and Mark MacLean

Illustrated by: Simon Roy and Jess Pollard

Tla’amin translation by: Betty Wilson

Wɩwlos mɛnaθɛy. Payɛ ʔukʷtəm yɛyɛθots. Tasɛt kʷ qʷɛt nɛs ƛamɛs. Hɛɬ šɛ mans hɛga šɛ tans nɛs ʔoneganɛm. Hehɛw ʔI mot t̓ᶿokʷ ta χɛč̓ɩč. Čɛčɛgatəm mɛnaθɛy šɛ mans. P̓ap̓ɛtəs šɛ p̓aʔəčs hɛwtəm θos p̓aʔəčɩm.

Menathey is a young boy. He gets into a lot of mischief. He lives close to the beach (ocean). He lives with his father and his mother. It is a fine crisp autumn day. Menathey is helping his father. He is preparing his net before he goes fishing.

“nɛ kʷa qaχ mot jɛnxʷ kʷ ƛɛkʷanəm. mɛqʷjɛnštəm qajɛhəs ƛɛqʷ.” natəm šɛ mans. Čɛt kʷa ƛaʔayin mɛnaθɛy θo qəqmɛtas šɛ mans kʷ p̓ap̓aʔəčɩm. Qaχ kʷ χaƛs kʷ toχuxʷəs.

“Someone said there are lots of salmon in Scuttle Bay. We will set our net while the tide is high.” Said his father. It is the first time that Menathey will go with his father to set the net to catch fish. He has so much to learn and he wants to know it all.

“ʔət̓ᶿ tamtən tɛʔɛ tiytiy χɛyχajis? Čɩmčɛ θoxʷɛns qatəms šɛ χɛyχajis? Čɩmčɛ θoxʷɛns nijiʔɛnxʷɛgəs. Čɩm kʷ nəms kʷ čɩts ta taχaməy? Čɩm kʷ θoxʷɛns ƛaqts ta p̓aʔəč? Čɩm kʷ θoxʷɛns kʷ ƛəpjɛns ta p̓aʔəč?”

“Why are the round rocks on one side and pieces of cedar on the other side of the net? Why do we need these big rocks? I wonder how heavy the rocks are? I wonder how far apart they are. Why are the pieces of cedar cut in this shape? How long is the net? How deep is the net?”

“ɬaqəmčxʷʊt mɛnaθɛy. ʔukʷsəm təm toχuxʷaxʷ kʷisəm.” natəm šɛ mans qasqasɛm. “Hoga taʔəwt šaθ kʷʊkʷpa hɛga šaθ čɛpθ hojits ta p̓aʔəč. Tawčʊxʷ ga nɛʔəs ta qʷɛt qʷolsəm t̓ᶿot̓ᶿok̓ʷʊk̓ʷ.”

“Be patient Menathey. You will learn everything tomorrow.” Said his father smiling. “Go and tell your grandfather and your uncle the net is ready. Tell them to be at the beach at breaking daylight.”

Hehɛw qʷašqʷiš mɛnaθɛy kʷ čɛt yɛyɛθots. Xʷa čɛməs ʔI hayɛ ƛɩčt. Gaχuxʷəs kʷ tiy mot jɛnxʷ kʷit̓ᶿɛm ta čɛ.

Menathey is excited about his new adventure. He could not fall asleep right away. He dreamt about a big salmon jumping out in the ocean.

“pičɛm ga mɛnaθɛy. kʷI nɛ kʷ qʷɛt ɬaqəm šaθ man.” Činəm mɛnaθɛy šɛ tans.

“Wake up Menathey. Your father is down the beach waiting.” Menathey heard his mother.

Θo ƛəq mɛnaθɛy. qakʷum. Kʷankʷʊntəs kʷ ʔukʷ čɛnəs. Pəpkʷatəs ta šɛtɛqʷəns ta t̓əqt ta θohomɩxʷ. Čiyɛtəs kʷ juʔʊkʷ hɛga kʷaqts kʷ hiyom.

Menathey went outside. He stopped. He was looking everywhere. He stared at the mountain top on the other side. He could hear the waves lapping and the cries of the seagulls.

Kʷʊnuxʷəs ta qaχ təmtumiš ʔəta qʷɛt. θo jɩƛmɛtəs. “ʔiy mot θ qʷal təs” natəm šɛ kʷʊkʷpas. P̓ɛθostəs. ʔukʷtəm hojɩt kʷʊms θo. ʔeyɛwuɬ ta nuxʷɛɬ ʔəms p̓ʔəč hɛga ta pɩčpɩču.

He saw a group of men down the beach. He ran towards them. “I am glad you are here” said his grandfather. He hugged Menathey. Everything is ready for us to go. Our net and baskets are in the canoe.

Θo tasɛw kʷ ƛɛkʷanəm. ɬayiš šɛ kʷʊkʷpas hɛga šɛ čɛpθs. Nɛʔot ʔowuɬɛt mɛnaθɛy hega šɛ mans. Χənatojɛtəs šɛ kʷʊkʷpas sayayins tap̓aʔəč. Hɛwčɩsma mɛnaθɛy. θo pɛqʷiš. Mɛmɛqɛtəm šɛ mans ta p̓aʔəč.

They arrived in Scuttle Bay. His grandfather and uncle went to shore. Menathey and his father stayed in the boat. He handed over the end of the net to his grandfather. Menathey began to paddle. He went away from the beach. His father was letting the net into the water.

Ho təs ta sayayins ta p̓aʔəč. ʔiy θo hɛwčɩsma tətsɛt ta qʷɛt. Sitatəm šɛ mans tiy χajis. Qɛysatəns ta p̓aʔəč. “hɛsəm ta χajis qɛysamɛns ta p̓aʔəč” natəms šɛ mans. “oh, čɛ kʷI kʷʊnuxʷ”, natəm mɛnaθɛy, “hɛɬ ta χɛyχajis qətmaʔəmɛns ta p̓aʔəč. ʔiy hɛɬ ta taχaməy p̓aƛišstuxʷ ta p̓aʔəč.”

He got to the end of the net. He paddled along close to the beach. His father threw a large rock overboard. It is the anchor for the net. “The rock will be the anchor for the net” said his father. “Oh, I see”, said Menathey, “It is the rocks which are the anchors for the net and the cedar keeps the net afloat.”

Pəpkʷatəm mɛnaθɛy šɛ qaχ mot jɛnxʷ. Hɛw tiytiy mot. Nukʷjɛθot kz ƛukʷɛnəss. Θoxʷɩns ʔajumišs. Hɛw tiytiy mot! Hotot gawyit̓ᶿəm ta jɛnxʷ.

Menathey stared at so much fish. They are so big. His heart beat rapidly. They were so beautiful. They are so big! The fish are just sparkling.

Qɛyɛstuxʷəs ta p̓aʔəč. ƛaʔəyin θo ɬayiš mɛnaθɛy. Χanatojɛtəs šɛ čɛpθs sayayins ta p̓aʔəč.

The net is tied in the boat. Menathey heads towards the shore. He hands over the end of the net to his uncle.

“čɩmčɛsəm θoxʷɩns ʔəms qayt?” hət qey qayaɬtən mɛnaθɛy. “Qaχačɛsəm jɛnxʷ maʔaxʷɛt st̓okʷ? ƛomɛta čɛsəm tums χanət kʷ ʔukʷ gatəs? Nəmsaʔəgə qʷalasəm χapi ta jɩnjɛnxʷ.”

“I wonder how much we caught?” Menathey begins to ask again. “Do you think we will catch a lot of fish today? Will there be enough to give some to everyone? I wonder if the fish will come back next year.”

“Toχnɛxxʷšt ʔot” natəm šɛ mans. Nisčxʷʊt tɛʔɛ. čɛgətčxʷ θ čɛpθ tʊktəs ta p̓ʔəč. Hot̓ᶿəm čɛgət θ kʷʊkʷpə.

“We know” said his father. You stay here. Help your uncle pull in the net. I will go and help your grandfather.

ƛaʔəyinɛw tukʷjɛn ta p̓aʔəč. Kʷʊnɛtəs jɛnxʷ nɛnpɛt ta p̓aʔəč. Tawtəs šɛ čɛpθs, “hɛw ʔiy mot tums qʷal qajɛʔəs ƛɛqʷ. ʔot qaqa qʷayin xʷə čɛməs qayt čɛt qaχ jɛnxʷ. ʔiy mot tums yɛyɛθot.”

They began to pull in the net. He saw the fish caught in the net. He said to his uncle, “it is good we came while the tide was high. If it was low tide we might not have caught much fish. We did a good thing.”

gayɛɬtənč: čɩm kʷ nonpeganəms mɛnaθɛy ga qaqaʔəs k̓ik̓lɛxʷsəm kʷaθ qayt?

Question: Why would Menathey think that you would catch only a small amount of salmon when it is low tide?

About the Tla’amin language:

The Tla’amin, Homalco and Klahoose peoples were at one time one nation. Our ancestors made their homes along the inlets, islands and sheltered coves and came together for celebrations or gathering of certain types of food which were seasonal. They would build their homes as close as possible to the natural resources. Today we are endeavouring to maintain our language and our culture. We are once again working together to preserve our language which is in danger of becoming extinct. We feel that by working in partnership with interested individuals such as Dr. Veselin Jungic, our young people will once again become knowledgeable of the language but also how adept our ancestors were with science.